Lawrence McKinney

Time Served: 31 Years

In August 2008, tests of biological stains from the victim’s bed linen revealed a mixture of stains from three people—none of whom was McKinney. The tests identified the DNA profiles of McKinney’s co-defendant and the victim’s profile.

The Crime and Investigation

On October 2, 1977, a woman was raped by two men in her apartment in Memphis, Tennessee.

She identified one of the men as 22-year-old Lawrence McKinney, who lived nearby and on October 7, 1977, he was charged with the assault. She also identified another man who lived nearby as participating in the gang rape.

McKinney was convicted in Shelby County Criminal Court on June 22, 1978 after the victim identified him in court as one of her attackers. He was sentenced to 100 years in prison. The other co-defendant also was convicted and sentenced to prison.

Post-Conviction

The law firm of Massey McCluskey represented McKinney in seeking exoneration.

In August 2008, tests of biological stains from the victim’s bed linen revealed a mixture of stains from three people—none of whom was McKinney. The tests identified the DNA profiles of McKinney’s co-defendant and the victim’s profile.

On June 30, 2009, his conviction was vacated and the charges were dismissed. He was released on July 20, 2009.

State: Tennessee

Charge: First-degree rape, Burglary

Conviction: First-degree rape, Burglary

Sentence: 100 Years

Incident Date: 10/02/77

Conviction Date: 06/22/78

Exoneration Date: 06/30/09

Served: 31 Years

Race of Defendant: African American

Race of Victim: African American

Status: Exonerated by DNA

Contributing Causes of Conviction: Eyewitness Misidentification

Death Penalty Case: no

Accused Plead Guilty: No

Real Perpetrator Found: No

Real Perpetrator Convicted of Subsequent Crime: No, Yes

Compensation: Not Yet

Type of Crime: Sex Crimes

Innocence Project Involved: Yes

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